“Mom,” she said. Her eyes round and brimming with tears,”I finished the book.”
She holds her copy of These Happy Golden Years, the eighth book in the Little House on the Prairie Series. The series she has read with dedication all year-long. The book that holds one of her dearest friends, Laura.
“Well, that’s wonderful,” I say. “But why the tears?”
And she sits down close to me, letting the drops fall on her cheek, me wiping them away, trying to understand my eleven year-old daughter.
“It’s just that Laura left, she got married and had to leave home. Her sisters were so sad. I think she is scared.”
Oh, sweet girl.
Change is scary, for us all. I reassure her with words of Laura finding love and the adventure that awaits her. I reassure her with words that the cabin Almanzo built for them in the woods is just one hour away from Ma and Pa. I reassure her with words that Laura will be okay. That she will be okay.
“I ‘ve never cried when I read a story, though, Mom.”
“That just means you love the characters. You have been with Laura since she was a little girl. And now she is grown up and so much changes when we grow up.”
And I reassure her with the words from the story, as we sit side-by-side on the couch, me reading out loud the final chapter one more time.
My voice cracking with the last lines,
Golden years are passing by,
These happy, golden years.
Indeed, these are happy golden years.